IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > C. The Middle East and North Africa, 1500–1800 > 2. The Middle East, 1501–1808 > a. The Ottoman Empire > 2. Decentralization and External Challenges
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
2. Decentralization and External Challenges
SULTAN MEHMED III. Upon his accession following his father's death, he had his 19 brothers strangled. He ended the traditional practice of sending princes to governorships, confining them instead to special quarters in the harem known as the kafes (the cage). Future sultans thus lacked the training and experience of their predecessors. The period was dominated by the exhausting war with the Habsburgs (1593–1606) and a series of great revolts in Anatolia.  1
c. 1596
Afrasiyab, a notable from Basra, acquired the governorship of the province, establishing a dynasty that ruled Basra as a virtually autonomous area until 1668.  2
Jelali revolts. Kara Yaziji, an Ottoman soldier, began to organize around him in Anatolia an army of dissident and unemployed soldiers and emerged as the best-known early leader of those rebel groups of the period known collectively as Jelalis. From 1599 the government sent expeditions against his forces, but with limited success. He died in 1602, but various Jelali rebel groups under different leaders continued their violent protest against the authorities for much of the decade. They engaged in large-scale brigandage and threw Anatolia into a state of increasing lawlessness and civil disorder.  3
A large-scale revolt of the Zaydi imam Qasim in Yemen, put down by the Ottomans.  4
Death of Saduddin Efendi (b. 1536), Ottoman religious scholar and author of an important chronicle, Taj ul-tevarih (The Crown of Histories), providing a detailed history of the Ottoman dynasty from its origins to 1520.  5
Death of Mustafa Âli (b. 1541), an Ottoman official and historian who wrote a universal history (Kunh ul-ahbar) as well as a description of Cairo and a book of counsel for sultans (1581) in which he reflected on the causes of Ottoman decline.  6
Death of Baki (b. 1526), the most brilliant classical Ottoman poet of the period. He rose from a humble background to become the palace poet and a close companion of Sultan Suleyman I. His elegy on the sultan's death is considered his finest work.  7
Death of Mustafa Selaniki, an official scribe who composed an important chronicle (Tarih-i Selaniki) covering the years 1563–99, in which he gives a first hand account of the deterioration of Ottoman administration.  8
Anti-Ottoman rebellion in Baghdad. Muhammad al-Tawil, a Janissary officer, seized power and defeated an Ottoman force sent against him. He was assassinated in 1607, and a year later the Ottomans reasserted their rule in the city.  9
SULTAN AHMED I. Mehmed III's eldest surviving son, aged 13, inherited an empire besieged from without by the Habsburgs and Safavids and from within by the Jelali rebels. He gradually brought peace on all fronts. A deeply religious man, he attempted to enforce the observance of religious duties and to crack down on the consumption of wine.  10
War with Iran. In a series of campaigns in 1603–1607, Shah Abbas I recaptured Azerbaijan and the Caucasus from the Ottomans. After some unsuccessful attempts to reverse this setback, the Ottomans signed a peace treaty (Nov. 20, 1612) in which they surrendered their conquests of 1590 and accepted the boundaries fixed in 1555. Boundary disputes and raids upset the peace for a time, but a new agreement (Sept. 26, 1618) confirmed the Treaty of 1612.  11
The rebellion of Ali Pasha Janbulat of Aleppo, member of a powerful Kurdish clan in northern Syria, originally to protest the execution by Ottoman officials of his uncle Husayn Pasha Janbulat. He soon moved to establish a state in northern Syria, but an Ottoman force sent against him demolished his army (Oct. 1607).  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.